President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors to ensure that the party reclaims Edo State in the September governorship elections.
President Buhari gave the marching order when the APC Governors on the platform of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, led by its Chairman, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State led some members of the forum and the Chairman, Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni paid a ‘thank you’ visit to him at the State House, Abuja.
It was reliably gathered that the President told the governors to mobilize themselves to do all that is necessary to make sure that Edo does not remain in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He also said that Ondo state must be retained by the governing party in the forthcoming election.
President Buhari was said to have been disappointed that a serving APC governor could be driven to the point of leaving the party and aligning with the opposition.
It will be recalled that Governor Obaseki of Edo state recently dumped the APC to the PDP as a result of his protracted differences with the former national Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The irreconcilable dispute between the two culminated in the disqualification of the governor from contesting the party’s primaries and seeking re-election on the platform of the APC.
Governor Obaseki, however, defected to the PDP which gave him the waiver to contest the party’s primaries and he emerged as the governorship candidate of the party in a role reversal with APC’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who he beat in the 2016 election as the candidate of the then opposition party.
Sources privy to the meeting hinted that President Buhari was critical about the crises in the governing party and was said to have reiterated his warning that the APC may disintegrate if the crises in it are allowed to fester.
The President told the governors that loyalty should be to the party rather than individuals.
Also at the meeting were chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and Governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi; governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Sani Bello (Niger).
Recall again that the lingering crises in the party led to the convocation of the emergency virtual National Executive Committee, NEC, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
President Buhari at the NEC proposed the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-National Working Committee (NWC), and the setting up of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee with six months mandate to organize a convention.
In his remarks at the NEC. President Buhari warned that if not arrested, the crises in the party would lead to its disintegration.
He had, therefore, admonished all litigants in the party to withdraw all pending litigations against one another, and settle for internal conciliation.